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Fresh thinking on the fruit ecosystem

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Rohit Nagdewani
Rohit Nagdewani
Rohit Nagdewani is the founder of B2B2C fresh fruits demand consolidation platform, Fresh From Farms

How a streamlined supply chain minimises fruit waste and boosts sustainability

Our increased preference for consuming a healthy diet and maintaining good health has fueled an unprecedented demand for fresh fruits. Now, the fresh fruit ecosystem, despite being a crucial component of the global food system, struggles with inefficiencies that result in huge levels of fruit waste. The journey from farm to table involves a long procedure filled with numerous intermediaries, leading to mishandling, temperature fluctuations, and in-transit damage. This ultimately contributes to spoilage and wastage, which is completely intolerable.

The fresh fruit journey

Fruits travel through a long chain comprising wholesalers, distributors, and transporters before reaching Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs). After this, retailers procure their stock from these APMCs daily at about 4 a.m. They purchase multiple fruits from multiple vendors and spend long hours transporting them to their selling points. This cumbersome process, coupled with rigid minimum order quantities (MOQs) imposed by traditional markets, compels retailers to buy more fruits than they can sell. It results in unavoidable wastage and loss, making the entire fresh fruit ecosystem inconvenient and complicated.

As a nation, we cannot tolerate the wastage of such precious resources, especially when millions of people grapple with food insecurity. Hence, addressing these challenges becomes paramount for ensuring a more sustainable future.

Streamlining the supply chain with direct sourcing 

India’s leading B2B2C fresh fruit demand consolidation platforms have come to the rescue to provide practical solutions for the supply chain complexities. They have revolutionised the industry by introducing direct sourcing from farmers across the country. These platforms eliminate unnecessary intermediaries to make the supply chain significantly shortened, thereby reducing transit times and minimising the risk of fruit damage and spoilage. For instance, mangoes grown in southern India no longer need to traverse thousands of kilometres and exchange multiple hands before reaching markets like Delhi. Instead, they are sourced directly from farmers and transported to a central facility, ensuring that fresher produce reaches retailers more efficiently.

Easing retailers’ burden

Companies delivering fresh fruits directly from farm to retail offer flexible purchasing systems that enable retailers to buy according to their specific demand requirements. They help prevent overstocking and reduce the risk of fruits going to waste due to excess inventory. The results of these innovative solutions are striking. Retailer wastage, which previously averaged between 15-20%, has been reduced to less than 5%. With this, retailers can experience substantial wastage reduction and boost their profitability.

Efficient grading and sorting

At the central facility, advanced grading and sorting processes are employed to categorise fruits into different quality grades. This meticulous approach ensures that only the best-quality fruits reach the market, while those deemed unsuitable for retail are redirected to alternative channels, such as juice vendors. These platforms leverage specific varieties and quality grades with consumer preferences to minimise wastage and ensure that every fruit finds its appropriate market.

Predictive demand analysis

The B2B2C-driven fresh fruit delivery companies help enhance efficiency with a machine learning-based system designed for predictive demand analysis. Analysing data daily, this system accurately forecasts the quantities and qualities of fruit retailers’ needs. This predictive capability provides precise recommendations on purchasing quantities, minimising excess inventory, and reducing wastage.

Finally

The transformation of the fresh fruit supply chain through direct sourcing, efficient grading, flexible purchasing, and predictive demand analysis holds immense promise for reducing wastage and enhancing sustainability. As the industry continues to evolve, the adoption of these innovative practices will be crucial in building a more resilient and sustainable food system. This way, India’s rapidly evolving fresh fruit selling platforms address the inefficiencies of traditional supply chains to benefit retailers while contributing to the broader goal of a sustainable future for all.

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